Candidates have their say on Colton Coal mine
MOST of Maryborough's state candidates have welcomed the potential economic benefits the proposed Colton coal mine will bring to the electorate if it is constructed.
The candidates have had their say on the controversial project, which received three critical mining licenses from the State Government earlier this year.
The mine is expected to create about 100 jobs if constructed.
Independent candidate Roger Currie said there was no real reason for the mine not to proceed, as it was up to the company.
"Bearing in mind, it's only a tiny project, not what you'd call a significant coal mine whatsoever, but 100 jobs in this area is 100 jobs," Mr Currie said.
Labor's Bruce Saunders and the LNP's Richard Kingston said the Maryborough electorate would benefit from the ripple-on effect the 100 jobs would create.
Mr Saunders said mining group New Hope had given an "iron-clad guarantee that 90 per cent of workers will be local."
"You can imagine with the Cross River Rail, Downer going up to 500 staff and the mine starting, we're talking about the trickle effect," Mr Saunders said.
"It starts to flow on to cafes, restaurants, clothing stores.
Mr Kingston said those who would receive the 100 jobs would help create more employment in Maryborough and the surrounding towns.
"(They) go and spend money at the shops, the shopkeeper gets busy, they need to put someone else on, they've got extra money in their pockets," Mr Kingston said.
"Maybe an extra two barmaids at the pub, someone at the cafe.
"These are long-term jobs, not just short-term construction jobs."
One Nation candidate James Hansen said the mine was a "$2-billion investment" in Maryborough.
"Provided they tick all the environmental boxes then I think it's a good thing," Mr Hansen said.
Only Greens candidate Craig Armstrong took the alternative stance, saying the mine posed a risk to towns like Aldershot.
"It's positioning is a threat to the community of Aldershot, because they rely on tank water, extra potential that coal dust could accumulate," Mr Armstrong said.
"The biggest issue in relation to the mine, apart from the ridiculous position, is that there was no environmental impact statement.
"It's clear to me the mine was considered too small to have an EIS, but I consider that a strategy that doesn't rule out expansion of the mine."